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I just found this site a week ago and I have been addicted to it ever since. We lost my sister-in-law 8 months ago and my mom was devastated. They were extremely close for 21 years. My sister-in-law and brother have three children, 17, 8 and 6, the 8 year old having autism.

My mother was her normal self while my sister-in-law was sick. She did everything to help my brother while he was taking care of his wife. After my sister in law's death, she again jumped in to help my brother care for the children. She seems fine for the first few weeks, then depression set in, she was crying daily, she stopped taking her medication for diabetes, and couldn't remember what I said to her 2 minutes before.

I was shocked at her sudden lack of memory retention! She'd ask me the same question five times in a 10 minute conversation!

I would talk to her multiple times a day and she was always bawling her eyes out. I would visit her and her house was a mess. All her clothes were dirty. No food in the house. And she was wearing dirty clothes. Her hair was matted. She lost 30 lb and her neighbors were calling me telling me she couldn't walk and she was bouncing off the walls. Obviously from her diabetes not being treated. She developed painful neuropathy, and bad sores on her feet.

I said, "that's it, you're coming home with me, if you don't you are going to die here alone."

I spoke with my brother and we agreed to talk to her about coming to live with me. We continue to speak to her about it over the next month. It was rough because....She forgot what we said the moment after we said it.

Oy Vey where is my mom!??? She was not like this 8 months ago!

So she's been with me two weeks and has had multiple breakdowns, freaking out, up all night cause she wanted to go home. After the third day of her being here, I took her to the ER and they gave her Xanax thank God. Next I took her to my doctor, and she put her on 10 mg of Lexapro. We got a new prescription for her diabetes medication which is Levemir 60 units once-daily. We had labs done today. We have a therapy (grief counseling) appointment set up for May 24th. And it's back to the PCP in 2 weeks. I read on here that an untreated UTI can cause dementia like symptoms. God I'm praying for that. I feel like .... "Mommy, where are you?"

Has anyone experienced an untreated UTI causing dementia like symptoms? If you have please share your experience with me. Thank you all for being here.

My mother had a UTI while she had dementia. It made several of her dementia symptoms much worse. She was very confused. But she wound up in the ER within a week of the symptoms starting. I can't imagine how it could go on for months!

I recently had a UTI. I am not cognitively impaired, but I sure felt like it then. Brain fog, confusion, slow to comprehend what was being said to me, falls several times a day, auditory hallucinations. The culture for a UTI takes a few days. I did not drive during this period. I had an e-coli infection, and when it cleared up so did the symptoms!

It sounds like you are doing a great job getting to the bottom of this, and rescuing mom. I hope it is something that can be cured quickly. And if it isn't, your mom is certainly lucky to have you looking after her!

One other thought. After my husband died I expected to feel sad, perhaps to cry easily, to be emotional. Instead I became very forgetful and confused. I tried to pay for my groceries with my library card, for example. I was seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist for different issues at that time and both of them assured me I was not permanently cognitively impaired. Having cognitive problems as part of mourning is not typical, but it does happen and it is as normal as any kind mourning. I am glad you have included grief counseling on your list of ways to help Mom. Is is indeed lucky to have you.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Thank you so much for your kind words, and sharing your experiences. I gave my mom and Azo UTI test today and it did come up positive. I called the PCP and she will see her tomorrow for a urine test.

Mom is only 72, a fantastic person and a wonderful mother. I'm hoping for the best. She has since stop crying and freaking out, and now she's starting to enjoy my animals. I have three cats a dog and my neighbor's white duck comes over every day for a visit. LOL. Whatever makes her smile. 

Yes I will definitely get her into a  geriatric physicians care. I would feel much better if someone were overseeing her meds especially now that anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds have been added. Thanks again!
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Reply to Pepsee
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Dear Pepsee,

I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your sister-in-law. I can imagine its been very hard on your mom and the whole family.

From what I understand it could be a UTI, but my other concerns would be side effects of any new or existing medications? Everyone reacts to medications so differently. It could be that grief coupled with the diabetes could be the bulk of it, but maybe there could be something else. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, undiagnosed vascular dementia. I hope the blood work and talking to the grief therapist will shed some light.
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I am 60 and I don't have any physical ailments. We had a tragic loss in the family last year, also involving small children half orphaned, and I found myself doing things I had never done before, like forgetting a friend's mother was dead, locking my keys in the trunk and leaving the water on in the kitchen with the sink stopper in. (What a mess!) It went on for months and my husband was getting very concerned about me. If you combine grief with untreated diabetes and what sounds like depression (matted hair, dirty) you might mistake it for dementia.

Sounds like you are doing everything you can do. I agree with the caveat that medications...especially psych meds...can cause unusual side effects. If your mom is elderly, it might be good to have a geriatrician or geriatric psychiatrist overseeing her medications.
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Reply to Marcia7321
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There are two separate and interacting influences on your mother's health. The lack of good control of her diabetes, and presence of an infection can cause delirium which is a fluctuating confusion. This is also happening on top of depression which can present as a dementia. There is something called Pseudodementia. It is very important for her to be evaluated by a PCP and perhaps, a geriatric psychiatrist if her delirium does not resolve after treatment for the UTI. Being a diabetic makes her more susceptible to infections so control of this is important. You are doing a great job with your care. IT is critical to get her back on track with medications. Also, it takes time for depression to resolve so be patient and continue to support her and seek support for yourself.
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Reply to KarenNP
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Yes Myownlife, she is on Lexapro 10 mg. I have been giving her her diabetes medication as prescribed. Yet she still has readings of 262-310, 2 hours after meals. I told the doctor this over the phone, and she said after the UTI is cleared up we will see if the numbers go down. If not something has to be added to her medication for her sugar.

Depression is definitely lifting, I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. :) Thank you to everybody for commenting, you don't know how good it is to feel I can reach out and talk to people about this. God bless
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Hey Pepsee!

I use to be a regular poster here but have backed off recently to see if it helps to lessen my obsessing on my mother - the whole ball of wax from my childhood through her dementia and finally her passing. So - anyhoo...

I am so happy for you - to have read your update and that your mother is doing better. Still, I thought I’d share my first experience with a elder parents UTI:

Both my parents crashed physically at the same time. Mom was in the hospital and I had just put my father into rehab after an ER trip due to a prostate issue. Daddy wasn’t happy about it but accepted it as he knew he needed the medical care.

On my fathers second evening at the rehab he called me. Daddy was really agitated and was insisting that I come pick him up and take him home. I was a little baffled as just the day before he knew that was where he needed to be.

Then my dad started to talk about my driving to Corvallis, Oregon - my old college town from thirty years prior and a ninety minute drive from Portland, where I was - where HE was!

Seems my dad fully believe he was
in Corvallis, staying in my old sorority house - which had also been my moms sorority where he courted her, so he knew it well - and daddy thought all the nurses were my sorority sisters AND if I wasn’t freaked out enough - for added measure my dad seemed to think all the ladies were wearing skimpy lingerie!!! So - daddy being the solid, up-right kinda guy he was - he just felt the whole situation was inappropriate and I needed to come get him and take him home. NOW!!!

I called the rehab - after assuring my dad I would be there but it might take a while- they said they’d get him settled down and also get some urine to test. WTH??? I’d had a UTI once as a teen and I sure as heck didn’t have hallucinations!?!

No one bothered to tell me that a UTI
in the elder is a whole different deal. But sure enough - positive test -
antibiotics started and in 24
hours my dad was back to his usual self. Good thing too - as the staff caught my dad climbing out the window in his room that night.

After my fathers recovery and until the day he passed away, over a year later, my father remembered the incident. Daddy knew - rationally- that the situation never happened. But - my dad said that it still was so vivid to him he had a hard time accepting that it all never happened.

As for me, if I hadn’t experience it myself, I would have never believed it - what a UTI can do to the mind of the elderly.
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Reply to Rainmom
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UTI has severe symptoms with elderly. It shows signs of frustration, hallucinations, extreme memory loss, sleep destruction, anger, and confusion. When you said that she's wearing the same clothes and her hair is a mess I would assume she is not showering well or cleaning herself well enough when she goes to the bathroom. A UTI going undetected for a long time can also cause death. I suggest every time you take her to the doctor have them check for UTI and also go to the drugstore and you can buy UTI strips to test at home. I go through UTIs with my mother all the time. When she has one it's like night and day.
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Reply to Life2sh
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Thank you all so much for all your help. She's been started on antibiotics for the UTI. The depression is lifting which is great. Her memory seems to be getting better. I still don't see her being able to take her daily meds, or check her sugar by herself yet. Her biggest problem now is not being in her own apartment. Hopefully this will pass.

I decorated her room in all lavenders, white and soft pink, this has been fun since I never had a daughter just three sons. LOL!
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UPDATE: since treating mom's UTI, her memory has gotten so much better. However I don't see her being able to manage her meds alone. She usually forgets what each pill is for and when to take it. I do see Dementia in the early stages. Will get her check for it. Mom fell yesterday what a horrible experience! She bent down to pick something up in the yard and fell backwards against the brick wall. She didn't really get hurt, she was more concerned with being a burden to us. Poor thing.

Depression and grief has gotten so much better. I talk to her daily about my sister-in-law, trying to make that subject not carry so much pain when she thinks about her. She has a locket around her neck that she carries some of sister-in-laws ashes in. She holds the lockit and talks to it at certain times. She's definitely coming to terms with the death and she's able to not grieve so much.

Her sense of humor is definitely back. She sits and watches some crazy talk shows with my son who is 20, and very attentive. They laugh and carry on! She's gotten much better with living with me, which, in the beginning, drove her crazy to know she was never going home.

Her hygiene is great, as a matter of fact, we're going for pedicures and manicures today! The bubble baths are out because I don't want to cause any more UTIs. But she does take a sit-down shower with a shower chair. I'll be coloring her hair Saturday. We just got her a haircut.

We bought her a bunch of new clothes that she really likes. She's really getting back to her old self.

This site is amazing! You guys have no idea the good you do and help you give! Thank you for caring and extending so much love and encouragement!💜
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